Pep Guardiola hailed an outstanding performance as Manchester City secured a 21st straight win with a 4-1 victory against Wolves, but insists his side’s focus now switches straight to Manchester United, who they face live on Sky Sports on Super Sunday.
City struck three times in the final 10 minutes, with Gabriel Jesus grabbing two, as City held off an unexpected Wolves fightback to claim a deserved win at the Etihad Stadium.
The result lifted quadruple-chasing City 15 points clear of Manchester United, who face Crystal Palace live on Sky Sports on Wednesday (kick-off 8.15pm), at the top of the Premier League but manager Guardiola insists nothing is finished yet as he prepares to face United at the Etihad on Super Sunday.
“Manchester United. That’s all we care [about now],” he told BT Sport.
“The champions are Liverpool, the crown belongs to them. We are in the best position right now to take them out and we are going to try, but they are the champions.
“There are 33 points to play for. Tomorrow our opponents will play, we have one or two days off and then we prepare for Manchester United at home.
“We are in a really good position – I did not expect to be in this position two or three months ago – but we need to be calm and compete like we did today.”
“We’ve got better results at Old Trafford than here [in the past]. We have one or two days to rest and I realise how strong they are. It’s an incredible opportunity to make a huge step and we are going to try.”
‘We were outstanding’
“I had a feeling we were going to be good,” he added. “I saw this morning the team, how focused they were when we warmed up. I thought they were ready.
“Wolves had one shot on target and got one goal – and after that they had a good five minutes. If you let them run they kill you, they are so good with their pace.
“But in 90 minutes we conceded so few actions to them and we created enough against them. It was an incredibly well deserved victory and a big compliment to the guys, they were outstanding.”
“The record we will talk about in the future. In winter time in England it’s hell and in that time we did something incredible. It’s more than remarkable. The players have all my compliments but Liverpool have the crown. To win the Premier League we need those points.”
Chance creation pleases Pep
City dominated possession throughout and went ahead courtesy of a Leander Dendoncker own goal after 15 minutes. They continued to make the running but Wolves snatched a surprise equaliser with their first effort on goal when Conor Coady headed home from a set-piece on the hour.
City finished strongly in response with Jesus claiming the decisive goal on 80 minutes before Riyad Mahrez added another and the Brazilian finished things off with the last kick of the game.
“It’s nice to finish with goals and we created chances against one of the best organised teams in the Premier League,” said Guardiola.
“We were so serious and it was a good victory. To finish 4-1 is good for the confidence and for the next games. Now rest, and then Man Utd.”
Analysis: This is a great City side
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:
“Manchester City won this game twice. In the first half, their dominance of Wolves was so total that the away team barely registered a touch of the ball in the final third of the pitch let alone the opposition penalty area. And when a set play allowed Wolves back into the match, City cut through them to show how they can devastate teams late on too.
“Riyad Mahrez was magnificent all evening, tormenting Jonny Otto and then Ki-Jana Hoever. Is there a silkier first touch in football than that of the Algerian? His ability to bring that ball down from the sky in his stride was enough to find space in behind the Wolves defence for the opening goal. He ended any hopes of a comeback by scoring the third himself.
“Gabriel Jesus scored the other two – a reward for his unselfish work leading the line for Pep Guardiola. Elsewhere, Joao Cancelo was excellent again, this time at left-back, while Bernardo Silva’s role in raising the tempo of the team’s play in the opposition half cannot be underestimated. The in-form Ilkay Gundogan was only required for eight minutes.
“Twenty-one consecutive wins tells the tale. Those autumn doubts about the method and the mood are long forgotten. Confidence is oozing from the team and the depth is so good that any number of changes to the starting line-up do not appear to affect the fluidity of the football. It has crept up on many during a miserable winter, but this is a great City side.”
Nuno: A tough result for Wolves
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo was frustrated his side could not cling on for a draw but acknowledged City were a fine team.
“Man City are showing through time how good they are, the quality they have. It’s no surprise. Everybody who faces Man City faces a very good team.
“It was a tough result but we competed well for large spells. In the first half we were not much threat but in the second half, we were very good to achieve the ‘draw’.
“The momentum of the team was there but we were not able to sustain it and we were punished in the last moments of the game.
“There’s always positives in everything but there are a lot of negatives. We made mistakes we should avoid in future.”
Watch Man City vs Man Utd live on Sky Sports on Super Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm